Del Piero, Heskey make marks with A-League goals


SYDNEY (AP) -International stars Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey scored their first goals in the same A-League match as Heskey's Newcastle Jets beat Del Piero's Sydney FC 3-2 in the second round on Saturday.

Del Piero, who scored 208 goals in 513 matches for Juventus, curled a free kick into the top corner of the Newcastle net in the 25th minute of his first home match for the Sky Blues, in front of a record Sydney crowd of 35,000.

Heskey, who scored seven times in his 62-match England career, made his mark in the 41st, volleying a cross from Ryan Griffiths past Sydney goalkeeper Ivan Necevski.

Del Piero said it was unfortunate his first A-League goal came in Sydney's second straight loss. The A-League's marquee team was beaten 2-0 by the Wellington Phoenix in its opening match.

"I'm happy to score the goal but I play for the win, not to score the goal," Del Piero said. "We are not happy (we lost). We fight but only started to play later after we gave away a goal. We did not do enough.

"The fans were amazing. We had 35,000 people (which is) amazing and we are very proud of this and we hope at the end of the season the fans will be proud of us more than today and I think that will happen."

Heskey was substituted after 81 minutes but his goal helped ensure Newcastle climbed the A-League ladder after its 2-0 loss to Adelaide United in the first round.

"It was nice to put in a performance with the lads like we did today and nice to get on the score sheet as well, so an all-round good day," Heskey said.

Adelaide United became the first team to post back-to-back wins this season when it followed up its win over Newcastle with a 1-0 victory on Friday over newcomers Western Sydney. The Western Sydney Wanderers made a sound league debut with a scoreless draw in the opening round and weren't outclassed by Adelaide.

Reigning champion Brisbane made a point at the expense of former coach Ange Postecoglou, who left at the end of last season after leading the Roar to successive championships, beating Postecoglou's Melbourne Victory 5-0.

The Victory are winless after their 2-1 opening-round loss to the Melbourne Heart.

Midfielder Thomas Broich opened the scoring in the 22nd minute and Eric Paartalu made it 2-0 only a minute later as the Victory were strained by the absence of Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan and Marco Rojas who were on international duty.

Besart Berisha scored in the 64th and Mitch Nichols in the 82nd before Albania international Berisha completed the rout in stoppage time.

Postecoglou later played down his former Brisbane connection.

Brisbane is "not my team. It never has been," he said. "To me it's just another game.

"I am coaching the Victory club. My responsibility lies solely with getting this club back to where it belongs and performing like our supporters think they deserve - that's our focus."

On Sunday, the Wellington Phoenix overcame the loss of seven players and their coach to New Zealand's World Cup qualifying campaign by snatching a 1-1 draw with the Melbourne Heart. Wellington has yet to win in seven A-League matches in Melbourne against the Heart and Victory but added a fifth draw to seven losses.

The Heart were reduced to 10 players early in the second half when Simon Colosimo was sent off for deliberately handling a goal-bound shot.

Later, Central Coast beat Perth 1-0 with a 69th-minute goal to Daniel McBreen.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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